Metro's Best of Silicon Valley 2002

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[whitespace] Guy Kawasaki
Photograph by Paul Myers

Guy Kawasaki

Courting the Dream

By Loren Stein

GUY KAWASAKI'S collection of titles includes founder, CEO, managing director and chairman of Garage Technology Ventures in Palo Alto, a boutique investment bank for high-tech companies. And that's just the short list. Formerly "chief evangelist" at Apple Computer, Kawasaki was instrumental in creating the Macintosh vibe. A noted speaker, Kawasaki is founder of various personal-computer companies as well as author of seven books, including Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream and The Macintosh Way. We caught up with Kawasaki before he flew off to Hong Kong for a few days.

Metro: When you're not the harried CEO of Garage, what do you like to do in your free time--that is, if you have any free time?

Kawasaki: My No. 1 passion is playing roller hockey with my kids. The best rink is Sunnyvale at Duane and Fair Oaks. I play on the rink in the back because I'm not good enough for the "real" one in the front. However, I am the best 48-year-old, Japanese-American, 200-pound-father skater there, punk.

So where's the best place to buy hockey gear?

Inline Sports in Cupertino. Our family makes a weekly buying trip to the place. Some people collect German cars, French art or California wines; we collect Mission Hockey skates. Want to buy a 1997 Hi Lo?

How about your favorite store, overall?

Apple store in Palo Alto. I wait in line, pay full retail and suffer the indignity of being asked, "Have you used a Macintosh before?"--that should tell you how much I like the place. It's great to talk to people who use computers, not drive taxi cabs, in their off-hours.

What's your all-time best Japanese dining spot in the valley?

Gombei in Menlo Park. It's fast, cheap and good. Too bad nobody can write software with these three qualities. I could eat there every day. Come to think of it, I do eat there every day.

Besides roller hockey, what else do you do to stay in fighting form?

I go to the best 5:30am basketball game in town, at the Pacific Athletic Club in San Carlos. As one gets older, what matters in basketball changes. It starts off with who's the best player and who won the game, starts degrading to whose girlfriend is the best-looking and who has the nicest shoes, and ends with who can still walk after the game and who has the nicest car. For those of us who play at 5:30am, the most important thing is having a nice car, punk.

What about your four-legged friends--where do you take them to stay in shape?

Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos. Appointments are available six days a week, and you can call to schedule an appointment 24/7. Never had to wait more than 10 minutes for drop-in, emergency service. Lab results come back in a few hours, and they call you with the results. Humans should have it so good. Plus, when is the last time your doctor gave you a treat after an exam?

What wilderness areas do you like best?

I don't do wilderness. The Hyatt instead of the Four Seasons?

What's your biggest gripe with the valley?

There is no broadband coverage in Silicon Valley. It would be better to be in the middle of a Third World country during a political revolution when it comes to broadband coverage. Everyone I know is 18,001 feet from the Pac Bell CO [central orifice]. Copper is good--it cures arthritis. Fiber is bad--it makes you feel bloated.

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From the October 10-16, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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